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Dan Ventrelle, former team president, accuses Las Vegas Raiders of firing him for reporting a hostile workplace environment

Matt Johnson
Dan Ventrelle, Las Vegas Raiders
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Las Vegas Raiders announced on Friday that team president Dan Ventrelle was no longer with the organization after 18 years with the organization, including 10 as the club’s president. Now, the former Raiders executive is accusing owner Mark Davis of firing him for being a whistleblower.

Las Vegas made Ventrelle its interim president in July when Marc Badain suddenly resigned from the position. Months later, the team made Ventrelle its full-time president. At a time when many key figures in the front office, including controller Araxie Grant and chief financial officer Ed Villanueva, left the team over alleged ‘accounting irregularities‘, Ventrelle provided stability.

However, just 10 months into his tenure as team president, the Raiders abruptly announced Ventrelle was no longer with the organization. Furthermore, chief operations and analytics officer Jeremy Aguero resigned seven months into his position.

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Hours after Las Vegas announced he no longer worked for the club, Ventrelle spoke to Mick Akers of the Las Vegas Review-Journal about why he believes he was let go.

In the statement, in which Ventrelle announced he obtained legal counsel, the former Raiders’ president said he submitted several complaints that team owner Mark Davis created a hostile work environment. He also accused Davis of “potential misconduct” that caused concern.

“I take that responsibility very seriously, which is why multiple written complaints from employees that (owner Mark Davis) created a hostile work environment and engaged in other potential misconduct caused me grave concern.”

Former Las Vegas Raiders team president Dan Ventrelle on alleged hostile work environment

Ventrelle told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that he first went directly to the team to make Davis aware of his concerns. When the Raiders owner was “dismissive” of the reported issues, Ventrelle notified the NFL of issues he perceived in the Raiders’ organization. He says shortly after that, Las Vegas terminated his employment.

“When Mark was confronted about these issues, he was dismissive and did not demonstrate the warranted level of concern. Given this, I informed the NFL of these issues of Mark’s unacceptable response. Soon thereafter, I was fired in retaliation for raising these concerns.”

Dan Ventrelle on alleged response by Las Vegas Raiders to his reporting

Details of Dan Ventrelle allegations

While Ventrelle’s statement to the Las Vegas Review-Journal didn’t provide extensive details, he noted his desire to “elevate these issues to protect the organization and its female employees.” Without specifics, it raises the possibility that multiple females in the Raiders’ organization felt uncomfortable working for Davis. It remains to be seen whether or not any will come forward to speak to the NFL.

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NFL response to Dan Ventrelle’s accusations

As of Friday night, the Raiders hadn’t responded to the allegations brought forth by Ventrelle. However, NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy told The Athletic that the league will conduct an investigation into the claims against the Raiders and Davis.

“We recently became aware of these allegations and take them very seriously. We will promptly look into the matter.”

NFL statement on Dan Ventrelle’s comments about Las Vegas Raiders, via Tashan Reed

While the NFL investigates the matter, the Raiders must now conduct a search for their third team president in a year. The Athletic’s Vic Tafur notes that Davis could explore hiring someone from the New England Patriots, choosing a person who general manager Dave Ziegler and head coach Josh McDaniels are familiar with from their time in New England.

Notably, outside of Davis, senior vice president and director of football administration Tom Delaney is the only member of the organization left from the Oakland era.

What does the latest NFL scandal mean for the Las Vegas Raiders?

NFL: NFL Draft
Gary Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

In an offseason the NFL wanted to be about transactions and big moves by teams, it now finds itself facing a new set of allegations against one of its team owners.

Currently, Washington Commanders owner Daniel Snyder is under investigation for allegations of sexual harassment and his team is being looked into for alleged financial misconduct. He is currently facing scrutiny from Congress and the FTC, all while the NFL investigates financial and misconduct allegations a year after it fined the organization $10 million.

Meanwhile, the NFL is also conducting an investigation into Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross. Former Dolphins’ coach Brian Flores accused Ross of offering $100,000 payments to lose games in 2019.

On top of all this, the league is dealing with Flores’ lawsuit against the NFL alleging racial discrimination in the hiring processes of teams.

As for the Raiders, the organization finds itself on uneven ground. Amid excitement for the upcoming season with high expectations for the 2022 season, the business side of operations is in chaos. Already dealing with turmoil among executives and constant turnover, now the NFL needs to investigate Davis to determine if Ventrelle’s allegations are legitimate and if Davis ignored issues then fired a whistleblower.